Brain activities for different cohesion type on discourse comprehension

Abstract

In order to comprehend discourse, the sentences in the discourse should be appropriately combined. What combines two sentences with each other is called “cohesion”. Theoretically, there are four types of cohesion― conjunction, ellipsis, lexical cohesion, and reference. Previous neuroimaging studies investigated brain activities for cohesive and incohesive discourse, but no studies distinguished the types of cohesion. This study compared the brain activities of four cohesion types using fMRI. Participants were asked to read cohesive/incohesive discourses, each of which were combined with one of four types of cohesion, and to judge whether the discourse was coherent or not. There was no significant difference in brain activation among the four cohesion types, suggesting that the different cohesion types are recognized by a common brain mechanism.


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